Thursday, July 25, 2013
If you've read this blog for longer than 5 minutes, you'll know that I'm fairly obsessed with using very simple solutions to achieve, eventually, big results. Some of this is because I dislike all the happy horsesh*t and snake-oil we're sold in this society, and some of it is because I started this business while carrying six-figures of law school debt, so I had no choice. One of these days, I might actually find myself being grateful to Sallie Mae for this experience of forced austerity and the lessons it taught me about the human spirit, and how law school was the wind beneath my wings...one of these days indeed, but not today.
Today, I just want to share another strategy for getting out of your own way...hence, the notebook. When trying to create something important, say a new business, or a professional networking strategy which will help you achieve a job/career you love, or write a book, or WHATEVER, one of the most important things you must realize is that if you're not creating the opportunities you need, you're wasting time.
So, in a small business for example, if I'm not generating the business I need...I'm wasting my own time. I might be doing something that sounds nice on Facebook, but if it won't, directly or indirectly, lead to generating client interest...it's a waste of time. This is something I have to remind myself and clients all the time. That two hours researching ideas for my new website? The website will lead to bigger branding, sponsoring and client-development...those were two hours well spent. They may not immediately bring in cash, but eventually they will. That 45 minutes spent on a conference-call with people who have no idea what they're doing? Might as well watched some "Aqua Teen Hunger Force," since those prospective clients are never going to get their sh*t together. Does that sound cold-blooded? Alas.
Thus, the notebook. I have, off and on, had various notebooks in which I listed, every day, the 5 constructive steps I took every day to achieve whatever goal I was focused on. (Some of you are realizing, with a shudder, that I'm far, FAR, more compulsive than you thought. Thank you! I do try.) At a certain point, the routine action of doing the steps usually takes over and I can put the notebook aside till I'm starting on something else more challenging. I mean, I have to hope that when I'm 85, fer Chrissake, I won't be in a motorized cart, with a notebook in my bra, and a cat named "Mr. Monkey" in the basket, going through the drive-thru at Taco Bell. Though honestly...hold that thought, since that truly might be paradise on earth...hmm.
I'm just sayin'. If you're trying to change something important in your own life, this is a simple yet effective way to get started. Buy a cheap notebook, and commit to every day doing and writing down the 5 positive steps you took that day to get one day closer to your goals. For many of us, knowing we have to write something down will force us to stop procrasturbating and get something real done. The act of accomplishing something significant releases those wonderful chemicals in the brain and you think, "Well...that was awesome. I could do something else." Rinse and repeat. (And yes, on the first day, you can write down buying the notebook as one action if you really want to be that cheesy.)
Want some more help on committing to your goals and getting out of your way? Of course you do! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and like my Facebook page, "Carlotaworldwide Creativity Yenta," for a free consultation.